Exclusive: Fraud allegation rocks Kwara Women Affairs Ministry


…donation for orphanage paid into private account

…claim, political – Commissioner

By Mumini AbdulKareem

The Kwara State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development is presently enmeshed in allegation of fraudulent activities involving some management staff, National Pilot reports.

Top on the list of the alleged perpetrators are staff in-charge of some children welfare centres and orphanage home under the ministry with the support of a former commissioner.

It was alleged that money and items donated by public spirited individuals for the upkeep of wards at the Children Redemption Centre (CRC), orphanage at Gaa-Akanbi is curiously being paid to private account and allegedly used for ‘personal’ purposes.

The ministry is also in-charge of three other welfare centres including Correction Centre (Oko-Erin), Welfare (Sabo-line), Centre for Disabled Children (Amayo) in addition to various area offices across the state.

Most of the staff in-charge of the centres involved in the alleged scam are level 15 officers, it was gathered.

A highly placed source who is very conversant with the matter confided in our reporter that the former commissioner still wields enormous influence in decision making at the ministry.

Trouble reportedly started when the incumbent Commissioner, Hajia Taibat Ahmed made some internal postings which affected staff on grade levels 8-16 shortly after her appointment.

But the two posting exercises on May 30th and June 7th, 2018, which were communicated though two dispatches and sighted by this reporter reportedly caused “serious disquiet” in the ministry.

Although meant to run the ministry better and more efficiently, the postings of some “strategic” officials according to our source, was rejected by the said ex-commissioner backed by top government functionaries.

Those affected include one Maryam Joke Yusuf, a level 15 officer, who is in-charge of Child Department, Ogungbemi Bolanle heading the Marriage/Registry department, Ikupolati Jonathan Taiye, principal of the Child Redemption Centre (CRC), and Yusuf Abibat, head of Crèche, among others.

The postings out of their stations were all resisted which raised some eyebrow.

Speaking further on the issue, the source who spoke under strict anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the press officially said, “The payment for the upkeep of the children at the orphanage are being paid into private account and used for other purposes.

“This has been going on for long with the backing of a former commissioner in the ministry in conjunction with some specific ministry officials who are in the racket. But attempt to put things right and make the place run more efficiently by the new commissioner were resisted,” the source added.

But the Commissioner in charge of the ministry, Hajia Taibat Ahmed strongly dismissed the allegations ascribing it to politics.

In a text message to this medium, Hajia Ahmed said “please there is (absolutely) nothing like that adding that “that news is (all about) politics”.

Findings by this medium however confirmed the payment of funds into private account for the upkeep of the orphanage at the redemption centre, Gaa-Akanbi, Ilorin.

When National Pilot called the head of CRC, Ikupolati Taiye for enquiries on payment from public individual, a GTB private account number, 0035111729 with the name, Ikupolati J Taiye was forwarded.

But when queried on the choice of private account for payment into one of the centres being run by the ministry, Ikupolati said the money may not get to the children or used for its intended purpose if forwarded to government’s account.

This was the conversation that ensued between the head of CRC and our reporter;

National Pilot: I’m … by name. I have the strong zeal to donate certain amount of money to the orphanage home, I will be glad if you could avail us with the account number we can send some money to.

Ikupolati: What I normally do in this case is to send my own account number because if I send that of the Ministry, it may not get to the children and it won’t be used for the purpose you meant.

National Pilot: Well since you said it will be used for the purpose….

Ikupolati: By the special grace of God I’m a Christian, I have my own children, so if I do bad to this children, it will happen to my own children.

National Pilot: So you said if it’s company account, it will not be used for the purpose..

Ikupolati:..eeh no, maybe last year, some people demanded for the account of the Ministry, when they gave them, nothing came to us.

National Pilot: OK. Pls send the account number.

Ikupolati: Thank you sir.

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